Economists expect nonfarm payrolls to rise by 165,000 after adding 157,000 the month before. Private payrolls are expected to increase 170,000 after posting a gain of 157,000 in January, and manufacturing payrolls are expected to increase by 8,000, compared with a 4,000 rise in January.
On Wednesday, ADP's employment report suggested that the U.S. economy added 198,000 private payrolls in February. This was better than the 172,000 figure predicted by economists.
On Thursday, weekly initial jobless claims fell to 340,000 from 344,000 the week before, below estimates of an increase to 355,000.
A few economists, like Deutsche Bank's Joe LaVorgna, have mentioned a possible distortion in the data arising from the effects of a snowstorm that hit the Northeast region in early February.
However, the strong ADP reading Wednesday could cast a bit of doubt on that thesis. On Wednesday, LaVorgna raised his NFP estimate to 180,000 from 125,000 before the ADP release.